Former escort, TV expert, and Sex Coach & Hypnotherapist Rebecca Dakin, shares her experience on leaving the sex industry and transitioning careers. Have a comment for Rebecca? Comment below or ask us on Twitter.
Q: How can I make my previous sex work past discreet from future employers?
A: I can understand the feeling that one would not want to disclose sex work, and for obvious reasons, it doesn’t look great on a CV, so it is always preferable to have a little sideline business that you can talk about. If not, then a good way to explain away a few years is to say that you took time out to study, travel or provide full-time care for a family member.
Q: Do you think it’s possible to get a ‘normal’ 9-5 job after sex work?
A: I think doing a 9-5 is what most sex workers spend their lives avoiding, however, I believe it is possible to get one if that is what someone wants. I would always encourage sex workers to train, study and learn and find a passion outside of sex work, and not put all their eggs in one basket. Setting up a business and being your own boss is often preferable for many. Money spent on material stuff will not assist you if you want to exit the industry, so invest your money wisely.
Q: If I no longer work in the industry, should I tell any future partner about my past?
A: It’s not for me to say whether sex workers should hide their past, it’s up to the individual. My personal opinion is if someone is going to judge me for my past then they’re not the sort of person I would want to be with.
Q: I’m not sure if sex work is for me anymore, but don’t know what I can do aside from it? Should I exit the industry?
A: I can’t stress enough how important it is to be investing in yourself by training, learning and finding your passions/interests outside of sex work, then you have options.
Q: I’m looking to leave the industry, what are the main barriers to leaving sex work?
A: The main barriers to leaving sex work are first and foremost the money. It’s such a hook, and no one wants to take a pay drop, right? This is when it’s time to consider the value of money compared to the value in your well-being. For me, there’s no money more important than my physical and emotional well-being.
Q: How can I make my exit from sex work a successful one?
A: I struggled for a couple of years with the loss of income, and also the isolation of being at home, not knowing my purpose. What surprised me the most was that I missed the adoration from men. The key here that I learnt is that I had to find my own value and sense of self-worth, something that can get lost in the sex industry. I invested in courses, seminars and trained as a therapist whilst starting my own healing journey. The key is to keep taking action, and things will evolve.
Q: I’m currently transitioning from sex work, what support services are available to help me with this?
A: I offer my services to people wanting to exit the industry. Very often it’s a lack of self-belief that they can do any other work that stops people moving on, that and the addiction to the money. Through my hypnotherapy, I can help with these things and much more. Sex industry clientele comes to me because I can relate to the work in a way that other therapists cannot. I work via Zoom and in-person in Nottingham.
Note: If you’re looking for additional support services, please find them here.
Q: Are there any tips on coping with potential stigma/judgemental behaviour when moving on from sex work?
A: There will always be a stigma and judgmental people, there are two options. It’s very black and white. You either tell people about your past and let some people judge or you don’t tell people so they can’t. In my experience, people who judge are usually the ones with the most skeletons in their closet so other people’s opinions don’t matter to me.
Q: What work opportunities are available for previous sex workers?
A: Literally, the world is your oyster. There are so many opportunities now, more than ever before thanks to the internet. Reach for the stars! When I worked as a sex worker I had no self-belief. Find your passion and work towards doing something you love. I flunked at uni and didn’t think I could get a well-paid job. This was my limiting belief. From aged 13-23, I worked low paid jobs, never getting the role of manager or even supervisor. When I worked as an escort I thought that’s all I could do because I hadn’t made it through university. The key is self-belief! Do whatever you need to get it and you will move mountains. It was only after leaving sex work and starting my journey of healing and training as a therapist when I realised it was this belief that had held me back all those years.
Q: What are the benefits of leaving sex work?
A: The benefits of leaving sex work are you can learn to connect to your body and heal, so that you have a nourishing fully connected relationship with yourself first and foremost, and from that place, you are able to offer that to others. I used to say to people ‘my clients get my body, but they don’t get me’. It’s only just occurred to me how concerning this was. I completely disconnected my body from ‘me’. Now that is freaky! I have worked on healing that part of me that felt the need to disconnect, which affected me from having fulfilling relationships for many years after sex work.
Q: How will I know when is the right time to leave the industry?
A: The time is right to leave sex work when you feel you aren’t enjoying it, you’re having to drink or do drugs to work, feel resentment towards your clients and/or you’ve compromised your services, or your mental and physical health is being affected. Your body will find a way to shut you down if you’re not listening to it.
Q: How can I prepare to leave the sex industry?
A: You can prepare to leave the industry by setting a firm, realistic date to finish, make sure you have funds in place to pay bills, having a flexible plan/goal to work to and getting therapy! As a therapist, I wish I had had therapy before I left the industry then I may not have found the change of lifestyle so challenging.
About Rebecca Dakin
‘My experience in dating and relationships is very much hands on. You see I’ve been in the sex industry for over 20 years, 10 of which I spent working as an escort, travelling the world with men, women and couples offering what is known in the escort industry as The Girlfriend Experience. Which is as it says on the tin, a hired girlfriend, and dating, intimacy and relationships was a big part of that.
After finishing escorting in 2010, my book The Girlfriend Experience was published, and since then I’ve forged out a business helping others using a less hands on approach.
During the past 9 years I have experienced various therapies myself for my own self development, including CBT, hypnotherapy, NLP, counselling, PP Inner Child Therapy and experiencing these therapies for myself, aside from the huge benefits to my wellbeing, has given me good foundations and understanding of people and relationships.
I trained in 2011 to become a Hypnotherapist, a Master Practitioner in NLP and I trained in Time Line Therapy. I don’t work like traditional therapists I use these therapy skills alongside my unique life experience to coach women, men and couples to find fulfilment in their relationships with themselves first and foremost, and, with others.
Book your 20 Minute Exploratory Call so I can help you understand how my skills and experience can help you.’